Ampersant, Michael. “This Is Heaven: Green Eyes, Part II”, Lustspiel Books, 2017.
The Last Happy Ending
I have remarked several times that the sign of good literature is that which makes me think and I have been doing a of thinking about Michael Ampersant’s wonderful new novel, “This is Heaven”. This is especially surprising in that this is not the kind of book that I usually choose to read but I am a sucker for someone who writes me a nice letter and asks me to review his work. Just from what writer Michael Ampersant wrote to me about his book generated interest on my part even though I am not into fantasy stories or science fiction. I got the idea that there was going to be so much more and indeed there was.
The novel is set in Georgia in the fictional town of Georgia Beach where we meet John and Alex who have somehow been able to hijack the summer “Vampire Festival” that is to take place at the resort. They were able to do so even with those adverse to their doing so. Before we know it, the characters (and the readers) are involved in actions that are, in fact, a satirical look of sex, crime, politics, and culture in all of their manifestations. Suddenly a billionaire is found dead in a darkroom and a college professor announces the coming of the end of days on the upcoming Thursday.
As Georgia Beach prepares for The Vampire Festival, John and Alex hijack it causing many to be quite angry and these include “Alpha males, delicate souls, and the Undead”. Then billionaire dies a suspicious darkroom death and a college professor predicts the coming of Armageddon on the coming Thursday.
I must admit that I have already had more than my fill of novels predicting the end of time and vampires. Novels like this tend to appear in cycles and it seems that vampires have become a staple in gay literature. I became apprehensive with where this story was going but something said to me to keep reading and I am glad that I did as many of my favorite historical and literary figures make an appearance here— Shakespeare, Albert Camus, Enid Blyton, Mark Twain, and many other writers appear in cameos. The satire becomes quite strong while we move forward and the characters interact with each other. I surprisingly realized that I was totally pulled into the novel.
However, I am at a loss for words as to how to review this. Any more of a plot summary could ruin the read for others. I have to certainly credit writer Ampersant who managed to do the almost impossible by causing me to continue reading a novel about vampires when I had already said that I have already read too many novels about the dark creatures. His wit is wonderful and there were times that I could see him in my mind as he sits at his computer writing this with a wry smile on his face. His prose is gorgeous and his characters are fascinating. For those two reasons alone, you should want to read, “This is Heaven”.